Tag Archive: Studying

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On the LSAT, Struggles Lead To Success

The LSAT is hard. Really hard. Students who are bogged down in the middle of LSAT study sometimes feel like it’s just something some people can do and some people can’t. The ones who feel this way invariably put themselves in the “can’t” category. Well, that mindset is self-defeating, and it runs directly counter to the results of studies about… studying. (And, hey, if improvement were impossible then Blueprint wouldn’t exist. The contrapositive of this statement is, “If Blueprint exists, improvement is possible.” And we all know Blueprint exists.)

The simple truth is that learning really hard things is possible. While it happens at a different pace depending upon the person, it does happen.

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On Columbia Law and Studying for the LSAT Under Duress

You may have heard that, in the wake of the grand jury decisions not to indict the officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Columbia Law School is allowing its students to request a postponement of their final exams. The interim dean noted that the cases “have shaken the faith of some in the integrity of the grand jury system and in the law more generally.”

The option to delay comes in response to pressure from students, but not everyone thinks it’s a good idea, especially considering that part of the job of a lawyer is to suck it up and deal with it. Check out these articles from Elie Mystal and Eugene Volokh for good arguments against the extension, despite being sympathetic to the students’ concerns.

We’re here, though, to discuss the LSAT.

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3 Tips to Balance Law School Applications and Finals

Applying to law school is a difficult and stressful process at the best of times. When you have to worry about final exams, papers, and holiday activities on top of your applications, it becomes even more difficult. Having gone through the process last year, I am going to offer a few words of advice on how to make it through in one piece.

Set Reasonable Goals
The best part of the application process is that you can easily break it up into small parts. Apart from the personal statement, virtually every part of schools’ applications are made up of segments that you can complete in a few hours. For example, you can complete the forms on LSAC or write the first draft of an optional essay over the course of an afternoon.

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The Spooks and Scares of Being a 1L

With Halloween right around the corner, let’s talk about the scariest parts of law school. Now that I’m almost two months into the semester, it is starting to get downright terrifying here at Columbia, and here’s why:

The Ghostly Specter of Final Exams
Nowadays, the mere reference to finals is enough to send me into a minor panic attack. If you’ve ever been on a roller-coaster before, you know the tick-tick-tick sound that accompanies the steep incline that comes right before a sudden, heart-stopping plunge; that is exactly how everything feels right now—there is this slow, steady build-up to the furious intensity and all-consuming stress that will go along with preparing for and taking exams. Up until this point, it has been easy to push the thought out of my mind and put off worrying about it, but now I seem to find myself facing the malignant shade of impending finals at every turn.

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Turkey Day LSAT Exercises

If you are studying for the quickly approaching December LSAT, you have probably reached a level of temporary insanity by this point. It is likely that you are accusing your significant other of committing fallacies during your intimate moments, you are having dreams in which you are actually one of the players in a game, and you are anticipating the primary purpose of each US Weekly article that you read at the gym. The good news is that you might be able to use this as a defense if you commit a crime in the next ten days. On the negative side, you are starting to smell pretty bad and your friends are avoiding your calls.

But screw it, I say we amp it up a notch. Let’s bring the LSAT to Thanksgiving.

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How to Stack Up in LSAT Reading Comprehension

As my class for the October LSAT progresses, I am running into a common enemy: Reading Comprehension.

For some reason I will never understand, students do not always enjoy practicing their Reading Comprehension skills. Even when I explain to them that a good score in this section will inevitably lead to a deep understanding of the hidden mysteries of the universe and a better-looking spouse in the future, I just do not see the determination in their eyes.

All joking aside, acing the Reading Comp on the LSAT is very important and, with good practice, very possible. Too many students stumble along and don’t really improve because of a lack of good practice in this area.

I very often find that students are bad at diagnosing their own problems.

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Postponement Deadline Approaching for the October LSAT

Hiya kids!  We’re 27 days away from the LSAT.  What does this mean for you?  You’re 27 days away from being done with the LSAT!  Like finding a roll of nickels in a drainage ditch, this is joyous news indeed.  It’s soon, but it’s far, too.  It’s as long as a February in an anti-leap year.  You can improve a whole heckuva lot in these 27 days.  At this point, you’re probably at or nearing the heavy review phase of your LSAT prep, and it’s during this period that many people see the most significant improvement.  So where you’re scoring now isn’t necessarily anywhere close to where you’ll be scoring on test day.

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Effective Studying: Everything You Know is Wrong

It’s no secret that we, as Americans, are getting dumber. 20% of us apparently think the President is a Muslim. We watch reality television rife with no talent assclowns. Google has realized we’re such a tremendous combination of stupid AND lazy that it has initiated a new search function that essentially makes it so you don’t have to think.

And now, apparently, we’re studying like morons as well.

The gist of this piece (brought to you by the Paper of Record) is that most conventions about learning and studying are based on a pile of nonsense. Three things stood out:

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The 20 People You’ll Meet in Law School

The new school year is just about upon us. Students across the United States will be back in classes in seven days, including yours truly. This week, as I wind down the very final days of summer and try to get back into the school mind-set, I have been spending some time considering my classmates. You see, law school attracts some interesting people (in all senses of the word) and I’ve missed some of those buggers over the past few months. So to celebrate their general awesomeness/entertainment value I bring you this non-exhaustive list of all the people you will ever meet in law school! (It’s non-exhaustive primarily so I can recycle the idea next time I am too lazy to come up with a real topic. Also, full disclaimer, I got my inspiration from this piece, which is both more original and funnier.)

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Studying with Victoria: Sleepy Time LSAT Study

It’s funny, the things you think of when you’re tired. Over the past several days, I’ve had no more than 5 or 6 hours sleep each night and have been relying heavily on cups of coffee, cans of Monster, and B-vitamins to struggle through the day. So between the sleep deprivation, caffeine overload, LSAT classes on both Saturday and Sunday last weekend and the homework on top of that, it’s no surprise that I might have been a little loopy during Wednesday’s lesson. I get the feeling that I was in good company though. My fellow students seemed as bleary eyed and confused as I was.